Having a hearing test, choosing the appropriate hearing aids for your needs, and choosing the right dispenser can be a very daunting task for some. Sometimes, just picking up the phone to make that call, can be very uncomfortable as well. How do we know what we are getting into? How do we prepare for taking that next step to get help with our hearing?
Let’s start with the appointment itself. If hearing loss is present, you can expect to spend 1-2 hours (typically closer to 2 hours) at your first visit. During this time, a conversation will be held to understand what difficulties you are having. Does background noise have any bearing on your hearing? Does anybody tell you the TV is too loud? Does it sound like people are mumbling? Is it more difficult to hear and understand women and kids? Hearing loss has different effects on different people. It is important to recognize some of your challenges early on to help understand the overall picture and what product will best suit your needs.
An otoscopic exam should also be conducted. This will help rule out any wax impaction, perforated eardrums, or ear infections. Some hearing aid practices offer video otoscopy, allowing you to see for yourself if wax may be present.
On to the test. A complete hearing test is more than just had a hearing screening. A hearing screening is where certain tones are presented, and we find a specific threshold. In other words, at what volume (measured in decibels) does it have to be before hearing at that given frequency (measured in hertz). While a screening does let us know if there is a loss present, it doesn’t tell us everything we need to know. Further testing needs to be conducted to tell us more.
After a full hearing evaluation is complete, the hearing aid specialist or audiologist should sit you down to explain the results. This should be presented in a way that is easy to understand for the patient. Differentiating between high and low frequencies, normal hearing all the way to profound hearing.
Discussion of hearing aids should follow if the evaluation shows hearing loss. This can be the most difficult part of the process for the hearing impaired. Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as just buying hearing aids. While we obviously take all of the above into consideration, we still want to make sure you are fit with the best product to fit your loss, your lifestyle, and your budget. This should be a very open conversation, to ensure a successful fitting of your new hearing aids. Every individual has their own unique needs, selecting appropriate hearing aids will be no different.
Next month we will dive in a little more! If you or someone you know is experiencing hearing loss, call Aaron today at 740-552-1519 to schedule your free hearing test.